Author: Talya Andor
Length: 15,000 words
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Thaniel has been chosen for the sacrifice that will renew the lands and bring sorely needed rain, and it is a duty he has always accepted. On his last day he ventures out to enjoy those things he loves and finds final resolve in all that he enjoys. But that resolve is tested in the moment when he must say goodbye to his dearest friend …
Thaniel has spent the last four years knowing that it is his role to sacrifice his life for his country. If the rains are to fall, he must give his life to the gods and has been chosen by the gods especially for this role. He’s been kept pure and untouched and now it is the day before the ceremony. Thaniel uses his time to say goodbye, especially to his friend Blaise before he is offered up to the gods.
The thing that impressed me most about this story is that it could have been quite dreary but actually, apart from a few bittersweet moments, it was rather upbeat. Thaniel is aware of his duty and is wholly willing to give his life so that the rains will come and his country’s drought will be over. I liked Thaniel and his quiet acceptance of his fate. There was something noble about his attitude. His friendship with Blaise showed another side to Thaniel, bringing out a mischievous part of his character which contrasted nicely with the sensible attitude he shows most of the time.
Another part I liked was the way that Thaniel’s past is wrapped up with the setting and how the heat and drought of the land has shaped him into the person he is in the book. The dry conditions and the hot weather feature strongly within the lives of those in the book and it was clever in the way this was integrated into the setting and plot.
My only niggle was that the final scene of the book went on just slightly too long for me. It could have been cut a little with no bad effect to the story – although maybe part of my feelings about this were due to my impatience in wanting to know how the story ended.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed this fantasy story. There are touches of sadness in the story but mostly it was a tale of renewal and hope and should appeal to may lovers of fantasy.